Medical workers at the Kawolo Hospital Maternity Department are failing to cope with the high numbers of babies born at the facility yet they have limited space to accommodate them at the neonatal unit.
The unit which was designed to accommodate 20 premature babies, often born before 28-weeks gestation and are seen to be unwell at birth is now handling double the number of babies.
Kawolo Principal Nursing Officer Silvio Abiria says that over the last year, the number of weak babies born at the facility doubled from 20 to almost 40 every day. The problem is blamed on the upsurge of teenagers giving birth and other cases related to malaria.
Children admitted to the neonatal unit often need assisted breathing support, suffer from convulsions, cannot feed, have severe chest in-drawing, jaundice, umbilicus redness or draining pus, skin boils, signs of local infection and vomiting.
The facility has one functioning incubator and does not have enough beds to accommodate all the preemies who need critical attention to ensure their survival. Mothers and caretakers seeking services at Kawolo Hospital are also worried about the situation saying it’s a risk to their children’s lives.
Suzan Nambalirwa, one of the mothers who talked to URN says that she has seen medical workers removing frail mothers and their babies from beds to accommodate those deemed to be more critical. Nambarirwa appeals to the government to increase beds at the maternity section so as to provide a good delivery environment to mothers.
Buikwe District Health Officer-DHO Richard Bbosa says they have addressed the concerns with the Ministry of Health and promised to respond. He, however, appeals to pregnant women to ensure proper feeding to avoid complications requiring neonatal services. He also advises mothers to always attend maternal clinics.
Buikwe District Woman Member of Parliament Diana Mutasingwa says her office was notified about the matter and is working hard to ensure that the unit is expanded.